until the quiet of your dying,

your final breath.


Now I seek feathered shrieks, traffic’s static,

the fumble and clatter of night’s sticky dishes.

Children’s shouts as they race for goals

no adult can see. Caterwauls of mating cats.

If I never hear another harp I’ll be ecstatic.

But saxophones marched by third graders,

beats uneven and modern! Trumpets’ trills

squeezed out by the crooked embouchures

of newly minted angels.


Third graders become fourth, become fifth.

Angels bored with playing scales put away

valves and bells, lay down reeds and keys

to carry books and hearts unused to courtship.


Rain’s hushed notes drift down onto ponds.

My head puddles at the soft plop of your name. 

I become moss, the better to hold you again,

and I am satisfied.


Mikki Aronoff is a New Mexico poet who has published in on-line and print journals. She worked many years in pediatric and adult hematology-oncology as a patient services manager and with creative arts therapies. Now retired, her passions are playing with words and advocating for animals.